*eBooks*: is there a secondary market for used ebooks? Can you sell them used?

Discussion in 'General Windows Phone (Plus Windows Mobile, Pocket' started by normaldude, Aug 17, 2002.

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  1. normaldude

    normaldude Mobile Evangelist

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    Let's say I'm considering buying & reading the book "Jack Welch & The G.E. Way". I notice I can buy the physical book used on Amazon for $14. After reading it, I can sell it back on Amazon used for about the same price. Net cost is minimal (Amazon commissions).

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0070581045/

    Then I look at the ebook version. There's no option for buying or selling it used. Thus I have to pay $25.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005S8SM/

    If it's illegal to resell ebooks, the price of ebooks needs to come down dramatically. The only reason I'm interested in ebooks is because I don't like physical objects that take up space and collect dust. That's why I buy used books, read & resell it used on Amazon; I don't like stuff lying around and piling up.

    So from a personal standpoint, the physical book route costs me maybe $2 (net). The ebook route costs $25. Ebook download costs for publishers is minimal. So if they want to increase ebook sales, they need to bring down the prices dramatically.
     
  2. shaklee

    shaklee Mobile Enthusiast

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    ummm, i hope you are joking. obviously you cannot sell used software since it is in the same condition as it was new.
     
  3. IwannaPPC

    IwannaPPC Mobile Enthusiast

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    Thats exactly why e-book pricing that is anywhere near regular book pricing is complely bogus. This of course applies to magazines as well.

    I guess they'll start raising paperback prices up to hardback levels next. They say its a portability premium or something.
     
  4. Don't Panic!

    Don't Panic! Mostly Harmless

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    Used E-Books? LMAO. By the time an E-Book is released the hardcover version is already out there. Probably in .txt format but out there. Everybody but Baen has the wrong business model IMVHO. Sell the advanced copy cheap and if it's a good story and useful to them folks will add it to there real world libraries. Well at least in the entertainment market anyway.

    Don't Panic!
    Bobby
     
  5. imported_juni

    imported_juni Small screen skinner

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    Yes, why can't ebooks be sold as used? You can sell used cds, paper-books, magazines....

    With this secure encryption it shouldn't be impossible...aren't all sold, encrypted e-books identified by the owners activation - in other words: unique copies? Why can't that ownership be transfered to someone else?
     
  6. Don't Panic!

    Don't Panic! Mostly Harmless

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    I'm sure the encryption process can be circumvented but It would be illegal under existing laws. That's why Baen gives away, Yes that right, gives away a lot of it's books. Before you download any of the forty books available read Eric Flint's Introduction to the Baen Free Library. Baen is making money with this system. The other publishers don't seem to understand this. Of course Sci-Fi and Fantasy are a niche market and Baen is one of the last big independent publishing houses around. Not being part of a Conglomerate whose only interest is the bottom line gives them a freedom that benefits readers as well as their bottom line.

    Don't Panic!
    Bobby
     
  7. JK27

    JK27 Mobile Deity

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    I respectfully disagree with your premise and conclusion. You can legally sell all your rights to a CD, or piece of software, you have purchased. Once you purchase the software, you own all the rights to that software (including the right to resell). For instance, there's a huge market for used CD's -- and the CD you sell to the reseller is the exact same condition (e.g., digital) as it was when it was new. But you're not breaking any laws doing so (and the reseller isn't breaking any laws buying it from you and selling it to another party). Of course, you cannot retain a digital copy of either once you sell it -- otherwise you ARE breaking copyright laws.
     
  8. ipaqgeek

    ipaqgeek Senior Member

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    I also disagree, as the poster did before me. What is needed is a honorable method to sell certified ebooks of sorts. If there was a forum set up where each legitamate e-book was accompanied by a certificate, then it could be monitored and audited as any other commodity.

    Sadly, such a forum does not exist, nor does the infrastructure where ebooks are certified by a physical certificate to be passed on the the new owner, neither does a secure digital resource exist where the current owner is listed and may be changed. Until a critical mass of authors gets their rumpus in gear and create such a system then ebooks will continue to be rife with infringements, but once in place such a system will work, and work wonderfully well. I'm sure of it. There are enough honest and upright individuals that will participate in such a system to prove its efficacy.

    The authors will continue to make money too because they can control the number of copies available.

    Will there still be piracy? Of course, but you'd be surprised how many people are honest because it helps them sleep better at night. Enough honest people to make a good ebook author rich. Not everyone keeps the law out of fear. For example: look at the nearly unenforceable as a seat-belt law. People keep it out of being honest, and 10,000's lives have been saved as a result.
     
  9. Kathy_Harris

    Kathy_Harris Senior Member

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    I haven't looked into it, but I've seen libraries participate in ebook checkout system. I heard it was for books on tape but the name was ebook.

    I agree that there will eventually be an encryption method to make buying and selling ebooks more like the paper brethren. I hate paper books - they take up shelf space and are difficult to read laying down on your side with one hand :)
     
  10. iZAC

    iZAC Mobile Evangelist

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    Since I have 50mb of ebooks in lit format, I will use ebook reader instead of tomeraider. Man will I miss that speed...:(

    Now where can I get free Edgar Allen Poe stuff?:)
     
  11. shaklee

    shaklee Mobile Enthusiast

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    again, please tell me you are joking. you have a physical copy of the cd when you own software. you cannot download a ppc program and sell it as used. Use your common sense please.
     
  12. imported_juni

    imported_juni Small screen skinner

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    No, you can't, because most of them come with regcodes and keys which are made for one person. Now, if you could sell that key....

    I never much liked the palmreader activation thing with your credit card number as the key...now that is something I wouldn't re-sell. ;P
     
  13. JK27

    JK27 Mobile Deity

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    Nope, not joking. Back to your original post ... are you "telling me" that you cannot legally sell a CD to a CD reseller? If so, you are wrong. Similarly, you can sell a software program that you've purchased to someone else (copy it to a CD if you're struggling for a way to transfer it to the new owner). As long as you don't retain a copy of it, you are free to sell that program. Another example: video games. Ever heard of FuncoLand? Games are bought and resold by the millions. Ever heard of ebay? Try looking for video games or software -- you'll find tons.

    I agree with other posters ... the practical sticking point will be with registration codes. Have a good day.
     
  14. Gen-M

    Gen-M Mobile Enthusiast

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    Read the licence agreement! You do not buy software :eek:
    You purchase the right to use, not ownership. Almost no software "sales" conveys ownership (unlike books and records).

    Legally you can only do with software what the Licence agreement authorizes - sometimes you can make a backup, sometimes you can't :confused:

    Do not think that you "buy" software - you do not:(
     
  15. noallatin

    noallatin Senior Member

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    Have you looked a paperback books recently? There is a Nora Roberts (romantic suspense) reissue called Honest Illusions that I'm willing to bet was probably a $5.00 paperback in it's first release. which is now a $13.00 trade paperback. More and more books are coming out as $12 to $14 dollar books when they hit paperback.

    I'm curious too, why do e-books cost so much? The books are a data file at some point aren't they? What does it take to convert that data file into an e-book format? E-book costs can't be based on the cost of paper, cover art, and ink can they? So do they cost as much as a hold in your hand, flip the pages book?
     
  16. JK27

    JK27 Mobile Deity

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    I agree, it depends on the license agreement ... which varies by company. However, shaklee was saying you could not sell software because it was in the same condition as when you bought it. That doesn't make any sense. Obviously, used CD's are in the same (digital) condition as when you buy them, but you can resell CD's (and videogames, DVD's, videos, etc.)
     
  17. noallatin

    noallatin Senior Member

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    Try here. This is a site from the University of Virginia.

    Try also PalmGear.
     
  18. snOOp

    snOOp Mobile Deity

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    That's an impressive list of stuff, thanks!
     
  19. Bandung

    Bandung City of Flowers

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    Actually, even purchasing books does not convey ownership since the copyright still rests with copyright owner. Its always been a "right to use" sort of world.

    The only thing physical that we get to keep or own is the physical media, ie the floppy, CD, hard bound book, etc.

    I'm stickin' with the opinion of the lawyer in this crowd. Who has somehow managed to remain quite calm while not blowing his cover. ;)

    And as for some of those EULA licensing agreement terms? Depending on where in the world one lives of course, I'd rather take my chances in court when it comes to abiding by some of their stipulations...:cool:
     
  20. marscity9

    marscity9 Guest

    can you rent it? i know a place (sona video) where you can rent programs and games for like $4 for a week
     
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